Firelight flickered from the brazier, warming the faces of those gathered around it.

The conversation lulled, and my fingers found a tune upon my strings. Minor key, haunting, slow… an anonymous piece called “Bear Dance” from the 12th and 13th centuries.

She got up from where she had been sitting to my left, the flames framing her form as she set down her drink. Her hands lifted into the air, scribing graceful circles upon the dark. She spun, her hips keeping time with the rhythm of my strings, thrum thrum thrummmm (pause) thrum thrum thrummm.

And she danced. Around and around we went, her body circling, spinning, against the play of my fingers on my Renaissance guitar. Variations found their way under my hands, and she met me note for note, twist for voluptuous, serpentine twist. Body and song, sensual and vibrant there under the stars.

The song wound down to a gentle end, and she dutifully followed it down to her knees. Her palms came together in front of her eyes, breathing thanks, speaking joy.

And only the dance of flame and shadow could compare to her and I.

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